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Sound Drop Outs

  • 21 January 2023
  • 12 replies
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Hi Everyone. I’m hoping someone can help with an annoying issues with my music playback. 

I use Windows 11 pc and iTunes to play music to all my Sonos Speakers. 

Previously. No issues streaming to a Play 5, Sub, 4 x ones and 2 x Roams. Perfect playback. 

Lately I’ve been having drop outs. Only for a second but increasing in frequency lately. 

I’ve reset all speakers. 

All updates applied. 

Put them all on the 2.4ghz band. 

Disabled the 5ghz band in case it was interfering - made no difference. 

I’ve tried them with just one speaker at a time in the hope one speaker was interfering with the network. 

Tried several different channels on the router. 

Tried the different Sonos Net Channels 1, 6, 11

Connected a One to the router to create a Sonos net. That didn’t resolve the issue. 

Bought a Boost - that didn’t resolve the issue. 

Bought a new modem / router - that didn’t resolve the issue. 

Nothing solves the issue. 

Playing music stored on my phone/iPad plays back perfectly. 

Tried other windows 11 pc but same issue. 

Music file types makes no difference. m4a mp3 wav aiff. 

Speakers in the same room as the router/modem are affected as well as speakers in the rooms upstairs too so not a signal strength issue I don’t think. 

Still the issue prevails. 

The most peculiar part is it always starts at track 8 or 9 onwards of any album I’m playing via iTunes from a pc. 

Has anyone else encountered this and fixed it? 

Any help appreciated and sorry for the long post x

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Best answer by GKerr 26 January 2023, 14:31

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Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @GKerr 

Welcome to the Sonos Community!

Do not reset any further speakers - it’s practically impossible that doing so would fix such an issue, but it’s guaranteed to result in much more work for you.

Just so I completely understand, are you initiating playback from within the iTunes application (ie. using AirPlay to play to multiple Sonos targets), or do you have Sonos’ Music Library pointed to the iTunes folder on your PC, and play from the Sonos PC app?

If it is the former, I recommend you only target one Sonos speaker (one that is either ethernet-wired to your network, or one that is likely to have a good signal from your WiFi) in the iTunes AirPlay settings, then use the Sonos app to group the other Sonos rooms in to play too, if needed.

The most peculiar part is it always starts at track 8 or 9 onwards of any album I’m playing via iTunes from a pc. 

Has anyone else encountered this and fixed it?

If Shuffled play is disabled, I don’t know why this would happen. Does it attempt to play the first tracks? If not, and if you are indeed using iTunes to initiate playback, then it is iTunes doing it.

Any help appreciated and sorry for the long post x

Not at all - the more information you include, the less information we have to ask you for before you get an answer!

Hi there. Thank you for taking the time to reply. 
 

Music is played via the iTunes application on the pc and sent to the Sonos speakers via AirPlay. 
 

Some music is stored on the pc and some on an external hard drive - but the issue happens regardless of the location. 
 

An album will play - starting with track one, songs play perfectly but when we reach track 8 or 9 that’s when the drop outs begin. 
 

I didn’t know there was a Sonos Music app for the pc. I’ve looked in the Microsoft store but don’t see anything there. 
 

I have tried targeting one Sonos speaker but the issue still  happens. 
 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @GKerr 

Some music is stored on the pc and some on an external hard drive - but the issue happens regardless of the location. 

This makes sense, and is expected. The PC is the source - where the PC gets the audio is irrelevant to the interaction between the speaker(s) and the PC’s AirPlay broadcast.

 

I didn’t know there was a Sonos Music app for the pc. I’ve looked in the Microsoft store but don’t see anything there. 

Microsoft/Windows is a bit different than macOS so this is not surprising. Until relatively recently, Microsoft had never really catalogued third-party Windows software, nor provided the installation of it from an app store in the way that macOS and Linux do. From what I hear, Microsoft are working on it, however. It is a mammoth task if they decide to be comprehensive about it.

You can download the appropriate Sonos desktop app for your Sonos system (S1/S2) and computer at https://support.sonos.com/downloads.

 

I have tried targeting one Sonos speaker but the issue still  happens. 

Understood. How does the PC connect to the network? If it is by WiFi, please connect it via ethernet if at all possible - if only for long enough to compare performance. If the PC is having trouble on WiFi, I’ll see no direct evidence of it in the diagnostics so I’d like to keep the possibility to a minimum so we know where the problem lies.

If the PC connects by ethernet already, then the issue is most likely to do with interference affecting your speakers. This makes sense, as things used to work, so it seems likely a change in environment has happened - possibly with the introduction of a new device, your’s or your neighbour’s.

Please recreate the issue (with, ideally, the PC connected to ethernet) and immediately submit a support diagnostic, replying here with the number given and the rooms involved when convenient, and I’ll take a look for you.

 

Hi. Connected the pc to router with Ethernet cable as you suggested but the drop out continues. 😔 

1281865980 Is the Diagnostic Report number. 

No new devices have been added to the household  and the nearest neighbour is 95 years old with no smart devices / internet / mobile phone etc and very hard of hearing so is oblivious to my Sonos sub 😂

Music was being played to one speaker - Bedroom - usual late night listening. 

Thanks again. 
 

It does suggest, however, a potential duplicate IP address. I’d certainly try a network refresh, by unplugging all your Sonos devices from power, then rebooting the router. Once the router has had a couple of minutes to come back up, plug back in the Sonos devices. Give them a couple of minutes, too, to reboot, then test, and see if it can reproduce. 

When Corry has time, he’ll be able to see more data in the diagnostic, however. 

When you play music stored on your external hard drive are you playing directly from the SONOS Library, or through AirPlay 2? If you are playing SONOS library tracks stored on the external hard drive, you can power down the PC and Airplay 2 devices and the music will continue. If you are fetching music through the PC, then playing via Airplay 2, bottlenecks in the PC and Airplay 2 device can starve the SONOS players for data.

The track 8 or 9 detail is peculiar. Are the tracks stored in a playlist? What resets this track count? Pausing play for a while, restarting a playlist, skipping to a different album? If you shuffle the tracks, is the skip still starting at the 8th and 9th track since starting play? I’m speculating that a PC or AirPlay 2 device resource may become exhausted at track 8 or 9 and this slows the fetch of music. The track 8 or 9 might be related more to time, rather than the number of tracks. You could explore this by playing some long classical tracks.

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @GKerr 

Thanks!

The issue is a synchronisation error - the speakers are getting out of sync - in tiny increments that are probably imperceptible - which add up to the point where the speakers decide to stop the current attempt and start from scratch at their current playing position and you hear a momentary drop-out as they do so.

So the first thing that jumps out at me is that SonosNet is using the same WiFi channel (11) as your router. This is better then having them on overlapping channels, but not as good as having them on separate, non-overlapping channels. In the Sonos app, make sure all rooms/devices are online and go to Settings » System » Network » SonosNet Channel » 1. There will be no messaging, or indication that anything has happened, but you just might have already fixed the issue. Make sure all the rooms/devices are still in the app - if any have gone missing, you may need to switch back to channel 11 to recover them and try again.

Next, please make sure that your Sonos speakers (especially the Office speakers, which are providing a signal to the rest of the system) have at least 1m space from any other WiFi devices, especially those that transmit WiFi - the router, WiFi extenders, printers, hubs - or other radio devices, like baby monitors, smart meters, CCTV, DECT phones. Unfortunately, an office is exactly the kind of room that can have a lot of these.

Most of your wireless speakers are connecting to Office Rear - in fact, only Living Room 1 is not, and it’s in charge of the group that’s having issues. If changing the SonosNet channel didn't fix things, can you please disconnect Office Front from ethernet? I’d like to see if Living Room 1 does better (there’s a lot of junk being picked up by Office Front’s antenna that Office Rear isn’t seeing) once it’s connecting to Office Rear.

You may also want to try disbanding the Living Room group and put a different Living Room speaker in charge of the group (selected before creating the group), though if you have already disconnected Office Front from ethernet, this won’t make as much difference (presumably).

Finally, Roam 1 has a battery capacity issue - I recommend you contact technical support before the warranty runs out in June. It also seems to be disconnecting a lot - it might be happier in a slightly different location (I’m guessing it’s near another radio/WiFi device). Portable devices do not connect to SonosNet, so it’s looking for a path to your router.

All these steps are separate - there might not be a need to do all of them, but please look into each one in order. If you can’t do one, just try the next. Feel free to stop once the issue has gone, but for the best chance at good performance, please try your best at each - especially at reducing wireless interference.

I hope this helps.

Hi Corry. Thank you once again for assistance with this. 
 

Here’s what I’ve done today based on the advice and suggestions given. Also generated a new Diagnostics For you 316477250

 

The office (spare bedroom with a pc in there) Not much in the way of Wi-Fi in there. Wi-Fi is disabled on the pc as I connect via Ethernet. Likewise the two Sonos speakers via Ethernet as they are quite literally as far from the downstairs router as they could possibly be. Disconnected them from Ethernet both today and moved the Office Front further from the pc just in case. 

Connected Living Room 4 via Ethernet to the router as it’s the closest  

Changed the Sonos Net channel to 1 as you said. 
 

The drop outs continue. 😟 

I’m unsure what you meant by disbanding the Living Room group and putting a different living room speaker in charge? I’ve never created a group - just named the speakers Living Room 1 etc Sub etc Do I reset each of the 4 speakers and Sub in the living room? Will the first speaker I set up after this automatically be in charge ? 

I understand what you said about synchronisation issues but would this apply as it also happens when only one speaker is being used also. 
 

Thank you for the info on the Roam Battery/connection  I’ll deal with that at a later date as the drop out issues is quite overwhelming 🤣


 

 

Refrain from Factory Reset without further consult.

In SONOS lingo a “Room” is a single player, two identical players bonded as a stereo pair, or a soundbar, surrounds and SUB(s) bonded as a surround system. All players in a Room, play the same source. Rooms can be “Grouped” to play the same music.

Userlevel 7
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Hi @GKerr 

Thanks for trying those steps. Please don’t reset any speakers.

In your first diagnostic, all your Living Room speakers were grouped and playing together - perhaps you forgot you had ever done it?. Now, they are not grouped. @buzz’s link should explain. If you group them together again, please select the wired speaker and group to it.

There are many causes of audio drop-out’s, which unfortunately all sound the same. If a speaker were experiencing sync issues with itself, that would be indicative of a possible fault, but if the audio cut out for another reason, it would sound the same but not indicate a possible fault - just an issue with the network. Grouped speakers with sync issues generally indicate issues with the network too.

The wired speaker’s connections to the rest of the speakers looks pretty good now - I’m surprised you don’t notice an improvement.

What currently concerns me is that only 3 of your speakers are showing as online. I recommend you get in touch with our technical support team for some in-depth and real-time troubleshooting.

I hope this helps.

First of all I’d like to say a HUGE thank you for all your help with this issue that has been plaguing me for months.

 

I’m not the most tech savvy person but by far not the worst I like to think and your messages and attempts at resolution were very easy to understand and have been a great help.

 

Having given it some thought I’ve opted to set fire to everything and start again 🤣🤣🤣

 

Just kidding lol 

 

Ethernet from Router to Living Room 4 speaker seems to have created a more stable Sonosnet.

 

But what I have also done is create a Stereo Pair in the Bedroom and a Stereo Pair in the Office.

 

What prompted the idea was what you said about the out of sync being imperceptible up till the point where the speaker ‘’dropped out’’ to catch up. My thought was well if speakers are trying to catch up at different times and not all at once then perhaps this would help – it did 😊

 

Now, having paired them, all I hear is a very slight dip in volume whilst the music plays continuously.

 

Office speakers are quite literally as far from the router as anything in the house could be – opposite ends but the music is playing perfectly now. Router at the east wall and Speakers at the West wall.

 

Likewise in the bedroom setup – playing perfectly.

 

The issue starting at around track 8 or 9 is more about the length of time as Buzz (I think it was Buzz) suggested about a resource becoming exhausted? I’m sure one day it will come to light as to what demon it is that’s playing hell with my patience and sanity within my PC 🤣

 

I really can’t thank you all enough for your help. 

 

Greatly appreciated and hopefully this post will go some way to resolve the same issue if anyone else experiences it.

 

I’ve got one final diagnostic report for you  

752795791  Hopefully everything looks much better?

 

Thank you all once again. Gary.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi @GKerr 

Don’t get me wrong - I am really glad to hear that you’ve found a way to minimise the impact/annoyance of each event by stereo-pairing - but the events are definitely still happening. Transmissions between the speakers look a lot better now, so if you don’t mind, I’d like you to try a little experiment comparing AirPlay to Music Library. Please follow these steps:

Add your music library to Sonos

Sonos allows you to stream your music library from any computer, or network attached storage drive, to your Sonos system. This article will show you how to add your music library using the Sonos app for macOS or Windows.

If you have already added your music library but have downloaded or removed music, created new playlists, or adjusted metadata, see our article on updating your Sonos music library.

  1. Open the Sonos app for macOS or Windows.
  2. From the Manage menu, select Music Library Settings.
  3. Click + (plus) on macOS, or Add if you are using Windows.
  4. If you use iTunes or are not sure where your music is stored, select My Music folder. If your music is not located in the My Music folder, select the appropriate option.
  5. Type in your computer’s password if prompted and follow the on-screen instructions to complete adding your music library. Depending on the size of your music library, it may take several minutes to index.

Once done, “Music Library” will appear in all of your Sonos apps as a new source of music. Test playing from there to your usual group of speakers and compare it to AirPlay-ing from iTunes. My honest expectation is that you’ll hear none of the issues you hear now.

I understand if you are feeling a bit of troubleshooting fatigue, so if you want to wait a few days or weeks before bothering, I won’t blame you. 😀

I hope this helps.

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